Zimbabweans have grace until 2021
The current deadline for the Dispensation of Zimbabweans Project (ZDP) has been pushed back to 2021.
Under the new conditions, Zimbabweans has two options. The first is to apply for the new Zimbabwean Exemption Permit (ZEP), a kind of extension of the ZSP. This expires in December 2021, with little clarity on what comes next — it essentially just kicks the immigration can four years down the road.
The second is to apply for a mainstream visa in South Africa, which means he does not have to risk his livelihood during a prolonged stay over the border.
For Zimbabweans who qualify for mainstream visas such as business owners, students, individuals with critical skills and those married to South Africans this is good news.
ZSP permit renewal 2017-2018
HOLDERS of the Zimbabwe special permit (ZSP) should not panic but allow the necessary processes to unfold, the Department of Home Affairs said.
Zimbabweans, who benefited from the ZSP in 2010, remain agitated with no official position on their status after December 31 when their permits expire.
Home Affairs director- general Mkuseli Apleni yesterday allayed their fears, saying “there is no way the government will drop them”.
“Zimbabweans do not have to panic, it was this government in 2010 which decided to accommodate them. I don’t see why this government will just drop them. It was the same government that renewed the permits when they expired. There is no way that we can be reckless,” Apleni said.
A lobby group named after the project receives dozens of messages daily from concerned ZSP holders who fear they may lose their jobs and fail to have their kids in school.
Spokesperson for the group Eddie Muchatuta said a lot of people were uneasy about the situation.
“The fear is that if this issue is not resolved a lot of these people will lose their jobs because companies won’t want to employ undocumented migrants. We also have cases where parents are not sure whether to apply for places in South African schools for 2018 because it’s not clear where they will be after December 31,” Muchatuta said.
But Apleni said there was no reason to worry with five months to go before the expiry of the permits.
“Those visas expire in December, so we are following the processes to make sure that when those visas come to an end, the fate of the Zimbabweans who are in this country will be looked at in a manner that will not put them in a difficult position,” he said.
He said Home Affairs Minister Prof Hlengiwe Mkhize, was consulting the Cabinet over the issue.
Home Affairs recently did a similar project for Basotho living in South Africa. Apleni said they did it after seeing the Zimbabwe permits work out well.
“When we did the Lesotho one we said it was because of the lessons learnt from the Zimbabwe special permit, so there is no way this government can deal with this in a reckless manner,” he said.
The social media have been awash with claims that holders of the special permit would be eligible for permanent residence at the end of the year. There are also messages asking permit holders to deposit money into bank accounts for applications to be processed. Apleni said these were phony and should be ignored.
“They must not get into traps where people claim they can renew the ZSP,” he said.
New Zimbabwean Special
Dispensation Permit announced
Malusi Gigaba of the South African Department of Home Affairs today released comments on the new Zimbabwean Special Dispensation Permit.
In 2009 the Cabinet of the Republic of South Africa approved the Dispensation of Zimbabweans Project – or ‘DZP’ as it’s commonly known.
The stated objectives at the time were:
- Regularize Zimbabweans residing in South Africa illegally
- Curb the deportation of Zimbabweans who were in SA illegally
- Reduce pressure on the asylum seeker and refugee regime, and
- Provide amnesty to Zimbabweans who obtained SA documents fraudulently
The DZP allowed applications from Zimbabwean’s with a valid Zimbabwean passport; evidence of employment, business or accredited study; and a clear criminal record and if successful granted them a permit to stay and work, study or run a business in South Africa.
The impending expiry of these permits has caused much anxiety with a great many of the 245,000 successful applicants.
The Zimbabwean Special Dispensation Permit
Current DZP permit-holders, who wish to remain in South Africa, after the expiry of their permits, can reapply for the ZSP, subject to certain conditions.
These conditions include, but are not limited to:
- A valid Zimbabwean passport; evidence of employment, business or accredited study; and a clear criminal record.
- The ZSP will allow permit-holders to live, work, conduct business and study in South Africa, for the duration of the permit, which is valid until 31 December, 2017.
- Applications can only be made between 01 October 2014 and 31 December 2014.
- Applications must be made via VFS, and adjudicated by the Department of Home Affairs.
- Applications will begin online, with appointments given for in-person finalization at a visa facilitation centre.
- An administration fee will apply but is yet to be divulged.
- ZSP permit-holders who wish to stay in South Africa after the expiry of the ZSP, must return to Zimbabwe to apply for mainstream visas and permits under the Immigration Act, subject to the relevant requirements.
- The expiry date of all DZP permits which expire before 31 December 2014 is accordingly delayed until 31 December 2014. The expiry date of those DZP permits which expire after December 2014, is being brought forward to 31 December 2014.
This of course now provides VFS with a significant challenge – the processing of as much of an additional 245,000 applications in just 3 months. To put it into content that’s some 80,000 potential applicants per month. 4 new offices are being opened in what are perceived to be ‘stress’ areas; Gauteng, Western Cape, Limpopo and Mpumalanga.
The question has also to be asked will the DHA, assuming VFS can indeed process this amount of application can the DHA adjudicate them in additional to their normal volumes and the already in existence backlog. We leave you with the announcements stated quote from Minister Malusi Gigaba.
“Therefore there will be no queues as experienced in the past, and we trust applicants will enjoy a pleasant and efficient application experience.”
ZSP PERMITS: The demand of multilingual representatives’ in Vfs global call centers for Zimbabweans!
Now the Zimbabwean Special Permit (ZSP) renewal dispensation has formally been running for about a couple of weeks. The most affected Zimbabweans have at least some narrative to tell by now about the procedure. The expertise from those who made an effort in the procedure or have finished the very first stage has no such great story to tell from upgrades in the surveys that are rapid.
The main concerns is call centre traffic congestion
The main concerns are on call centre traffic congestion and the frustrating site downtimes. The fact that the very first phase is a web-established procedure that is on-line brings along serious special technicalities in itself to the applicants who aren't computer literate and technology understanding for this Do It Yourself (DIY) strategy to the permit renewals.
Our important concern, nevertheless, is on the failure to additionally briefly participate or contract multilingual Zimbabweans to manage specific queries as well as the dissemination of another essential info related to this procedure, particularly in the call centre area of the Department of Home Affairs (SA) through its outsourcing business VFS Global.
As a matter of fact, most Zimbabweans are earning a living
As a matter of fact, most Zimbabweans are earning a living from call centre kinds of their work permits as well as occupations continue to be valid for the length of this same procedure. It's a public secret that this "final dispensation" procedure is certainly meant to gain just Zimbabweans. They can't expect to get a call from a Chinese or Nigerian national making enquiries on this particular form of the permit, except in significantly less than one percent (1%) isolated instances where other such as foreign nationals are in possessions of "imitation" Zimbabwean files as well as gained from the procedure in 2010.
It can be mathematically supported
It can be mathematically supported that not less than 70% of the holders of these permit-kinds aren't the truly well educated Zimbabweans, who can be anticipated to be so eloquent in English to get all the essential advice or clarity they may require past a phone call or through a paper.
African in writing and speaking English
It's a fast fact that simply Grade 7 was finished by some, whilst others neglected the quite same English at O' Level before leaving for South Africa. Regardless, competence by an African in writing and speaking English does not make it their language of preference even where it is unnecessary! A lot of professionals who are Zimbabweans, including teachers, nurses, physicians and technicians to mention, a few were already holders of "routine" permits and didn't actually 'qualify' for the dispensation in the time.